Spring News: Letter from the Chair

Dear SAO Members,

A funny thing happened to time this winter. It has passed slower than I could have ever imagined, while somehow flying past with alarming speed. I am so thankful to see the sun shining just a little bit longer each day and the gradual shift to melting snow and puddles instead of monstrous snow banks and frozen sidewalks. While the seasons change with a certainty I have not experienced in the past year, I am hopeful that spring will bring new hope and a strengthened spirit for the rest of this school year.

This year has started off with a flurry of SAO activity. The executive team has been working hard to strengthen the governance elements and procedures of the SAO. The full board met in February to discuss the formation of committees to start important work on a wide range of activities and issues. In addition, the SAO launched a new series of online events called SAO TEA: Teaching, Education, Action. The first session in February was a huge success drawing in teachers from across Ontario and even a few from the United States.

As I look ahead to the rest of 2021, I hope that we are all able to experience a return to in-person teaching and all the familiar options that live musical events offer. While I remain optimistic about what might be possible, I am also aware that the return to traditional events is going to take time. For this reason, the SAO has opted to host an online conference for students and teachers in November 2021. Take a minute now to reserve the weekend of November 13-14 to come together with colleagues near and far to share music, knowledge and inspiration. You can find out more about the SAO online conference here.

Since we are looking ahead, take a few minutes to check out the SAA list of upcoming training events. With so many options for online training, perhaps this is the time to take a course you have been dreaming about! Did you know that the SAO offers scholarships to assist teachers taking approved SAA core and supplemental units? The scholarship deadline is coming up on May 31. You can find out more about the SAO scholarship program here.

As we continue on our musical journey through this school year, I want to leave you all with something that has inspired me to smile a little more this week: Here Comes the Sun with Joshua Bell and From the Top.

Debbie Hammond, Chair

Suzuki Association of Ontario